If you're the ambitious type, you can go for Hungary's most famous tour spanning the whole country: the Countrywide Blue Tour. The route starts atop the Irottkő Mountain (884 m) at the Austrian-Hungarian border and cuts across Hungary, ending 1128 km later at the village of Hollóháza by the Hungarian-Slovakian boundary. But why blue? Well, the name is a reference to the marking of the path itself: it is a horizontal blue stripe between two white stripes. The tour is definitely worth the pains (it is quite long, we have to admit...), as the course passes by the most breathtaking natural and the most amazing man-made sights of the country. Explore ruins and castles, marvel at the panorama from the lookout towers, check out Hollókő (it's a piece of living tradition and part of the World Heritage) and venture into the depths of the Stalactive Cave of Aggtelek (yup, part of the World Heritage as well).
The Bakony, part of the Transdanubian Mountains is a favourite of walkers from all around the country. The Mátra can be found in the northern part of Hungary. This is the place for the ambitious – put on some good shoes and climb onto the highest point of the country, the Kékestető (1014 m). The Mecsek in the south of Hungary is a bit lower – its highest point, the Zengő lies at 682 metres – it offers a huge diversity in flora however, you'll find over a hundred highly protected species here, many of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. For a walk across forests, meadows and even marshlands, head to the Őrség – the national park holds valuable treasures here. The Írottkő Nature Park near Kőszeg is worth a visit as well – enjoy the view on the picturesque landscape dotted with tiny villages.
You don't have to go far for a nice walk up the hillsthough, – Budapest offers many touring sites as well. Just take the bus up into the mountains of Buda or Normafa and off you go, deep into the forest.
The marks painted on the trees will help you find your way, using a unified colour code. Looking for more excitement? Geocaching, a real-world outdoor treasure hunt might be your thing then. Use your GPS or mobile device to locate hidden caches – and explore the country along the way. At www.geocaching.hu you'll find all the necessary info to kick-start the hunt.
While touring is a game for some, it's a real performance sport for others. Performance tours take participants along fixed trails – the challenge is to complete the tour within a given time frame. Go wherever you want, whenever you like – just make sure to take your tent with you. It's cheap, it's close to nature and guarantees the most freedom possible. So explore Hungary by camping your way through the countryside, you can always be sure that you will find a nice camp site where you can rest through the night. Around lakes and rivers, along major trekking routes, at thermal springs – camp sites are to be found everywhere, and they come in various sizes and budgets, offering all kinds of services. Whether it's just a warm shower that you need or you're looking to have you very own pool – everything's possible. For detailed information on camp sites, go to the Hungarian Camping and Caravanning Club's site: www.mccc.hu or to www.campinform.eu.